Press release from Turner, Monday, June 2, 2014:
TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2014 NBA Western Conference Finals — the San Antonio Spurs defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games — averaged 6.8 million total viewers and a 4.2 U.S. HH rating, increases of 39% and 35% when compared with last year’s Western Conference Finals between the Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies (4.9 million total viewers; 3.1 U.S. HH rating). TNT registered the top audience across all of cable television each game night throughout the six-game series, despite four lopsided outcomes.
This year’s NBA Western Conference Finals on TNT generated the top two sports programs of the day across all of television five times throughout the series — each game telecast and the Sports Emmy Award-winning Inside the NBA studio show. Additionally, TNT’s Western Conference Finals coverage netted significant increases across all key male demos with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 both up 33% and Men 25-54 tallying increases of 30% over last year.
The network’s coverage of the Western Conference Finals Game 6 (Saturday, May 31) – San Antonio’s 112-107 overtime victory over Oklahoma City to close out the series — averaged 8.1 million total viewers and a 4.9 U.S. HH rating to deliver the top sports program of the day across all of television (cable and broadcast). TNT’s Game 6 telecast is up 66% and 58% compared with last year’s Western Conference Finals.
The Western Conference Finals Game 6 between the Spurs/Thunder peaked with 12.1 million total viewers and a 4.9 U.S. HH rating from 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET. The game telecast is up 21% among total viewers and 17% in U.S. HH rating over the average for this year’s six-game series. Locally, the telecast registered a 29.3 HH rating in San Antonio and a 25.2 HH rating in Oklahoma City.
Following Game 6, TNT’s Inside the NBA delivered a 2.7 overnight rating from 11:45 p.m.-12:15 a.m. to net the second highest-rated sports program of the day (trailing only the game itself) across all of television.
Additional highlights for each Western Conference Finals telecast:
• WCF Game 1 (Monday, May 19) — The game, won by the Spurs 122-105, averaged 6.4 million total viewers and a 4.0 U.S. HH rating, up 31% and 29% over the Western Conference Finals in 2013. The telecast – the highest rated and most viewed sports program of the day – peaked with 7.5 million total viewers and a 3.1 U.S. HH rating from 11-11:15 p.m.
• WCF Game 2 (Wednesday, May 21) — The second game of the series — despite a lopsided 112-77 Spurs victory — averaged 6,038,000 total viewers and a 3.7 U.S. HH rating, increases of 23% and 19% over last year’s series. This year’s telecast — the highest-rated and most-viewed sports program of the day — peaked with a 4.2 U.S. HH rating and 6.4 million total viewers from 10-10:15 p.m.
• WCF Game 3 (Sunday, May 25) — TNT’s telecast averaged 6,679,000 total viewers and a 3.9 U.S. HH rating for the Thunder’s 106-97 win, up 36% and 26% over the 2013 Western Conference Finals. The telecast peaked with a 4.8 U.S. HH rating and 8.3 million total viewers from 10:30-10:45 p.m.
• WCF Game 4 (Tuesday, May 27) — Won by the Thunder 105-92, the game telecast averaged a 4.2 U.S. HH rating and 6,420,000 total viewers, increases of 35% and 31% over the previous year’s series. The telecast — the highest rated and most viewed sports program of the day — peaked with a 4.8 U.S. HH rating and 7.5 million total viewers from 11-11:15 p.m.
• WCF Game 5 (Thursday, May 29) — TNT’s game telecast — won decisively by the Spurs 117-89 — averaged 6,942,000 total viewers and a 4.3 U.S. HH rating, up 42% and 39% compared with last year’s Western Conference Finals. The Game 5 telecast — the highest-rated and most-viewed sports program of the day — peaked with a 5.1 U.S. HH rating and 8.3 million total viewers from 10:45-11 p.m.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Live + SD data stream for the dates of the 2014 NBA Playoffs (04-30-2014 – 05-31-2014) compared to historical dates of the NBA Playoffs on TNT. Competitive ranking compared on nights of the NBA Playoffs compared to ad-supported cable of the Western Conference Finals dates (05-19-2014 – 05-31-2014).